Sixth District Congressional candidate Sean Casten charged today that President Donald Trump's new Executive Order to open up the Great Lakes to greater exploitation by offshore energy producers undermines Rep. Peter Roskam's claims of having protected Lake Michigan.
Yesterday, the White House announced that it had revoked a previous order issued by President Obama in 2010 after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. That order was designed to promote conservation and sustainable use of the oceans and Great Lakes.
Instead, Trump's new Executive Order, backed by a group representing offshore energy producers, emphasizes the use of those waters to promote economic growth.
In one of his first campaign mailings earlier this month, Roskam claimed that he had headed off an attempt by the Trump Administration to defund the Great Lakes Initiative -- an Obama-era effort to protect and clean-up the Great Lakes. Roskam's mailing linked his actions to preserve the region's clean drinking water, which would be threatened by increased efforts to drill for oil and gas.
"Peter is posing as a friend of clean water, even though the League of Conservation Voters gives him a lifetime record of voting for the environment only three percent of the time," Casten said. "But Peter's claim of successfully protecting the Great Lakes has just been undermined by a President he's supported with 94 percent of his votes."
"The truth is that fossil-fuel industries have given Peter more than $600,000 in campaign money, with Exxon-Mobil being his single largest contributor," Casten said. "When it comes to a choice between clean water and the oil industry, Peter has followed his campaign cash."
Casten noted that, in his initial campaign ads, Roskam has been scrambling to change his image on issues from gun control to immigration to the environment.
"Peter is running from his record just as fast as he can," Casten said. "But he remains badly out-of-step with the views and values of the people he's supposed to represent."